A new type of screening test may soon be available for patients in Kentucky with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The medical company named Veracyte has announced it intends to expand its program for early access to the Envisia Genomic Classifier Test. This test can distinguish a diagnosis of IPF from other types of lung disorders by comparing genetic information from patient samples. It could provide a way for doctors to diagnose IPF without performing an invasive surgery.
Diagnosis of this disorder has typically been a challenge for medical providers. A study by the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation found that 55 percent of patients with IPF and other interstitial lung disorders had been misdiagnosed at least once.
Approximately 20 percent of IPF patients surveyed had been prescribed systemic cortisol based on a misdiagnosis. This treatment is not recommended for IPF due to potentially harmful side effects.
The test could help IBF patients get faster diagnoses. This can improve patient outcomes since doctors can use this information to develop a treatment plan sooner. Patients who are diagnosed quickly can gain better access to medicines that slow the progression of the disorder and avoid harmful treatments.
Misdiagnosis is potentially a form of medical malpractice when it is due to a medical provider's failure to adhere to the standard of care required in his or her specialty. For example, if a doctor fails to use a test that is widely available to diagnose a condition, the patient may get unnecessary or harmful treatment.
An attorney could help someone who has received a misdiagnosis file a lawsuit against their medical providers. Legal counsel may be able to present evidence through medical records and witness testimony that the provider failed to order a test or procedure that should have been performed or misinterpreted the results.